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Knee-jerk Notes #3: Anthony Bennett

Obviously, feel free to leave some feedback- positive or negative. Together, we'll try to learn Flip Saunders' playbook as much as we can. Anthony Bennett is the subject of Knee-jerk Notes #3.

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Continuing with what may or not become a series here at CH, these are observations from the Wolves preseason game against the Philadelphia 76ers.I am just hoping to put more content onto this website. These are merely notes. Some may be crazy, others logical, so just stick with me. Or tell me I'm loco- either one is appropriate.

I haven't done a ton of homework on Anthony Bennett. This has been explained to those who listen to the CH Program. Additionally, my unawareness was mentioned in a musings post last week. His proverbial, so often discussed fresh start is also recognized among Canis Hoopus bloggers.

Anthony Bennett runs the floor well on this possession.

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I started with this highlight because it was Bennett's first offensive possession on the court in a Timberwolves uniform. Now, I can move onto other things. Bennett may run the floor well, but how in shape is he? How frequently can he run the floor?

Those are the lingering questions.

I think I found the pattern in Flip Saunders' offense.

We saw the first team run the offensive set below in Knee-jerk Notes #1. Here it is again, only the starters are not in the game. The bench is in the game. There is a noticeable difference in how smoothly each group executes this particular play- which begins as a high-low option but also evolves. A number of different looks can be created by this movement.

Here's a link to see an example of Pekovic and Gorgui Dieng using this play. (Examples #1 and #3.)

Notice: On the previous possession, Mo Williams threw an alley-oop to Zach LaVine, who dunked the ball through the rim. It was exciting!

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Bennett is slow, and somewhat clumsy, and that's ok. In this instance, these attributes didn't aid in the production of negative results. These are his first few minutes on the basketball court this season, mind you, outside of scrimmages and things as such.

LaVine, after his involvement with the aforementioned alley-oop play, may be tossing up this shot just to see if he's, you know, feelin' it. Or something. Anyway, back to Bennett.


Granted I'm eying one player, specifically, Bennett projects a sense of awareness no matter how minescule or notable his responsibility on each play. Bennett is a ballhawk. He inbounds the ball in out-of-bounds situations, after opponents made-baskets and is always trying to find a way to impact the game.

In this example, though, Bennett forgets two of his duties as a player without the ball because he's partially spectating.


Nikola Pekovic is in the process of missing a layup and Bennett is watching- he isn't crashing the glass hoping for an offensive rebound. He should be running to toward the hoop incase Pekovic misses (he missed) or he should be getting back on defense (Pekovic should have made the layup, Bennett should probably be getting back on defense.)

Below: A picture of where Bennett, and the other players, are on the court when someone on the Wolves bench yells "GET BACK." I left the game clock in these pictures for a reason.

Bennett wtf defense

Bennett.....hasn't traveled very far. Between the three-seconds these two pictures were taken, Pekovic manages to squander his own rebound and complain to the official- all while he runs back on defense. Moreover, Bennett takes two steps in this timeframe and then stands in front of the man with the ball. Had there been a pass upcourt, Bennett's presence in that space on the floor would be rendered useless.

He needs to crash the glass or get back on defense. Leave the transition-lurking the wings and Rubio. This should be embedded in his brain by now.

The result of the ensuing play: Sixers, during transition, made a three point shot.


First, Bennett sets a screen. After rolling to the hoop, he jumps, retains control of the rebound and quickly makes a nice touch-pass to Gorgui Dieng. This all comes after a missed shot- Bennett is watching things happen again, but also is in the right place at the right time. He's a ballhawk.

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Pekovic does a good job to keep the rebound alive. Too bad he missed the easy layup opportunity.

Ahhhh, here's some good lookin' upside!

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Notice the time on the shock clock. Things went ary on this possession and the play broke down. Thus, Williams ends up with the ball and Bennett sets a screen, rolls nicely to the hoop and takes full-advantage of the sketchy defending. This possession ends in a dunk. Well done.

The play below, albeit resulting in two points for the Sixers, is a sign maybe Bennett is the Wolves new rim protector? No? OK!

Allthewhile, this was impressive.

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Bennett leaves his man (who is standing on the three point line) only to contest the layup best he could without fouling. If he leaves a three point shooter, this could burn the Wolves. I'm not sure if the man Bennett was guarding can hit threes- nor am I going to research that information.

More notes will be posted later today.